The things we wish had been included on the Star Wars Blu-rays
The Star Wars Blu-ray release may have broken sales records, but what extras could have been included on the discs? Here’s Cameron’s list of annoying omissions…
Although I am perfectly happy with my Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray box set (and boy, am I happy), the word "complete" has slightly irked me. Though there are over forty hours of juicy space opera goodness in the extras, I still think it isn’t quite complete.
Apart from essentials, such as trailers and TV spots, there are also a wealth of materials from previous DVD releases missing, such as the deleted scenes from the prequels and numerous documentaries. So, it’s probably best to hang on to those older discs.
Anyway, included below are five slices of Star Wars ephemera that would have been much appreciated if they had been included – maybe we’ll see them next time on the 3D box set…?
5. From Star Wars To Jedi: The Making Of A Saga
This is an odd omission, as the three other main contemporaneous making-ofs for the Original Trilogy are presented on the Blu-ray collection in all their glory (and they’re great). From Star Wars To Jedi was produced during the production of Return Of The Jedi, and is mainly about the final film, despite what its title might imply.
There are some great moments, including the original Han and Jabba scene from Episode IV (complete with actor Declan Mulholland standing in for the bloated one) and some hilarious behind-the-scenes fun with puppets of the film, led by mischief-maker Salacious Crumb.
4. The Star Wars Holiday Special
As we mentioned just the other day, some footage from the 1978 television show has been included (the main offender being the Boba Fett cartoon). It's a dream, I know, but seeing this mind-blowing, brain-itching extravaganza would have made this set about as complete as you can get. Maybe it'll get a release all by itself...
3. BBC Omnibus Specials
Running for over 36 years, the BBC arts show twice turned its gaze towards Star Wars.
1997 saw a post-Special Edition documentary mainly looking at the life of the saga's creator. George Lucas: Flying Solo includes the regular remarks from fellow filmmakers, such as Francis Ford Coppola and Irvin Kershner, but it also takes in the thoughts and opinions from friends, college contemporaries and family.
Of course, alongside these exclusive interviews, we also witness George himself chatting about his early years and his struggles growing up. Included are fascinating glimpses into his student work in 16mm films such as the award-winning Look At Life (1965), Herbie (1966) and Freiheit (1966).
His skills as an art house filmmaker (if I may use such a redundant term) are apparent, and Coppola chimes in, bemoaning the fact that the world was denied Lucas' true talent as an artist. The Godfather director's words close this piece on a slightly downbeat note, as he hints that Star Wars ruined his artistry, and hopes that Lucas would move on to other projects after he was done with the six films.
Its follow-up, A Long Time Ago: The Story Of Star Wars, broadcast in 1999, coinciding with the release of The Phantom Menace. It largely focused on the first prequel's production. taking in the main players with some hugely amusing antics from Ewan McGregor (who shares interesting remarks on "Star Wars acting", and the smell of fans).
The interviews are all exclusive, as is the fascinating behind-the-scenes material, and you'll heartily enjoy watching Lucas sit down to lunch with fellow filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. But most intriguing of all are Spielberg and producer Rick McCallum's comments on the "nine film" strategy - something Lucas has never committed to.
Oh, and you also get Mark Hamill's uncanny impression of Harrison Ford.
2. Return Of The Ewok
If the Holiday Special is an oddity, best only seen once and perhaps under the influence, then this outing for the Star Wars gang is its antithesis.
Directed by Jedi's first assistant director David Tomblin (who also worked on seminal 60s TV series, The Prisoner), this 24-minute tale is a charming and highly entertaining (in a good way) special, with a 15-year-old Warwick Davis as its Ewok lead, Wicket. As a sidenote, Davis is soon to be seen in the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant comedy, Life’s Too Short.
Return Of The Ewok is an absolute delight, and not only stars the original saga gang (Ford, Fisher and the other bloke, Hamill) but also features Roy Kinnear and Chelsea Football Club. Sometime soon please, Lucasfilm.
1. Blooper Reel
C'mon! Six films, nearly 13 hours of Star Wars saga filmage, and not one clip of Harrison Ford complaining about the script? Not one moment of Mark Hamill boy-crushing on Ford? No close-ups of Peter Cushing's pink slippers? Or Carrie Fisher picking at her boob tape? Surely a release is crying out for this stuff?